Do intensive driving courses work?

Last updated by on May 23rd, 2019

Learning to drive can be expensive and time consuming but taking an intensive driving course could mean you pass your test in a matter of weeks – here’s how it works.

What is an intensive driving course?

Intensive driving courses (also called ‘crash course’ driving lessons) squeeze everything you need to know about driving into a very short space of time. Courses typically last five or ten days often for a minimum of five hours each day – so they really are intensive.

You can also find semi-intensive courses which are slightly longer – usually over two or more weeks. They still aim to help you pass your test quicker than you would with conventional weekly lessons but aren’t as condensed as intensive programmes.

Whether you choose an intensive or semi-intensive course, you’ll need a provisional licence but you won’t necessarily need to have done your theory test. Some driving schools will include theory lessons as part of your intensive training but others won’t so you should check to see what the requirements are before applying.

What’s a residential intense driving course?

A number of schools offer week-long residential training courses. These are even more intensive as you’re staying away from home in a hotel or B&B and purely focusing on learning to drive.

If you do decide to go on a residential course, don’t forget to factor in the extra cost of accommodation.

Intensive driving courses

How much are driving lessons?

Driving schools set their own prices but they range from £20-£30 for an hour-long lesson.

You don’t need a minimum number of lessons by law but data from the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) suggest that the average learner will need around 47 hours before passing their test. For many learners this means the cost of driving can exceed £1,000 even before fees for the theory and practical tests are added in.

While intensive courses aren’t cheap, they do offer some savings if you pass first time. Even if you don’t pass first time, some schools offer unlimited lessons to help you master what you failed on (although there will be conditions attached).

How much is an intensive driving course?

As with standard lessons, driving schools set their own intensive course prices. Some offer courses for just over £200 but these are mainly aimed at people who have failed a test and just need help in particular areas.

If you’ve never driven before and are looking at intensive lessons, you should aim to budget about £1000 for a week’s course. This might seem expensive, but some schools will include the cost of your theory and practical test in this as well.

Is an intensive driving course worth it?

Everyone learns differently so whether an intensive course works for you will depend on how you learn – some people thrive in intensive learning condition while others do better by taking a more measured approach.

To help you weigh up whether an intensive course is for you, here’s what you should consider:

Pros of an intensive driving course

  • You can learn to drive and pass your test in a matter of weeks
  • It could save you money in the long run if you pass first time
  • Good if you need to pass your test quickly
  • Some schools fast-track driving tests so you could get a test date quicker
  • Focused, intense lessons that condense all the information you need into a short time so it’s fresh in your mind

Cons of an intensive driving course

  • Learning and passing your test in a week means you may not experience a broad range of driving conditions – for example night-time driving, bad weather or rush-hour traffic
  • If you don’t pass first time, it might not save you any money
  • Not great if you don’t like intense learning
  • Can be very tiring as you’ll be behind the wheel for several hours each day
  • Learning quickly is no guarantee that you’ll be prepared for real-world driving. Conventional weekly lessons may give you more opportunity to reinforce what you’ve learnt and encourage consistency.

Will an intensive driving course guarantee I pass the test?

There are never any guarantees when it comes to your practical test. The test is carried out by an examiner trained and employed by the DVSA. Examiners follow strict guidelines to ensure that learners meet national driving standards so whether you pass or not really comes down to how you drive on the day.

Government figures show that 47% of learner drivers pass their test first time. If you’re 17 then you stand a better chance of passing first time out of all age groups (55%) compared to 58-year-olds who have the lowest first time pass rate (36%).

Female doing her intense driving course in red car

Is there an intensive driving course near me?

You can find intensive driving courses up and down the country, some of the more well-known schools with nationwide instructors include 5Day and RED Driving School. Of course, there will be several other local driving schools in your own area and it’s wise to do a thorough search or get a word of mouth recommendation to find the best intensive driving course for you.

Another great way of finding out what learners really think, is to read reviews (and not just the ones on the driving school’s website). To be really objective try to find independent review platforms to see what people are really saying.

When you do pass your driving test and get your first set of wheels – you’ll need to make car insurance a priority. Searching with us means you can see a range of quotes at a glance – ensuring you get the cover you need at a price that you can afford.

Other articles you may find useful

How to pass the driving theory test

How to pass the practical driving test

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